We’ve only officially known him for three pages, but Treebeard is quickly becoming my favorite character. Let’s discuss.
Pippin suggests adding hobbits to Treebeard’s list, as they get left out of such things a lot. Treebeard remains confused. What are these things, and why do they seem so intent on telling him everything about themselves? Treebeard himself is very guarded, and chooses not to say his full name. Merry and Pippin, meanwhile, reveal their full names, and family heritage to boot.
However, Treebeard’s caution has its reasons. Most importantly, his name is too long to go about saying every which way. In “Old Entish”, his language, names are imbued fully with meaning, and take a very, very long time to say. What’s the point, if it’s not completely worth the time? Also, he wants to know more about the two hobbits and why they are here, which brings about the strangest word I’ve ever seen.
Treebeard is all things beautiful and silly, at the same time. First, for the beautiful…
This passage about names in Old Entish and why they contain such depths of meaning is spellbinding. There’s a lot in it about storytelling, and the difference between saying and meaning. In short, “I’ve lived a very long, long time,” Treebeard says; “so my name is like a story.” In essence, your name is your life. As you live, it grows with you.
However, the second part of Treebeard’s speech today is just so funny, I don’t know what to do with myself. He wants to know what is going on in the world at large, and why Merry and Pippin have found themselves in Fangorn. He clearly knows that things in Middle-earth are amiss, but his total knowledge is lacking. He starts asking, but forgets the word in the common tongue for “cliff”, or “rock wall”, or something like that. Instead, he says an absurdly long word in Old Entish. Hilarity ensues.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
Say WHAT now?! Talk about an example of long words in Old Entish! Treebeard, you’re great. If you can keep up this combination of depth and…I don’t know, Zoidberg, I’ll love you forever.
“‘What is going on? What is Gandalf…'”